ZENI GEVA  Freedom Bondage  LP   (Alternative Tentacles)   14.98

Long out of print on CD, we've tracked down some of the super-rare vinyl for Japanese art-metal trio Zeni Geva's 1995 album Freedom Bondage. Produced by Steve Albini and featuring the addition of keyboards, acoustic guitar and the surprising appearance of melodic singing on a couple of the album's tracks, these nine songs deliver ZG's trademark angular math-metal with those weird time signatures, disjointed but crushing powerchord riffage, and frontman K.K. Null's intimidating drill sargeant/samurai battle shouts. There's plenty of weird shit here too, like the spacey dub percussion hit on the title track, or the frequent nods to keyboard-heavy King Crimson style prog rock, and the clean singing that shows up on the last track "Ground Zero" is, well, pretty fucking breathtaking - that tune has a very 70's prog feel. But as proggy and psychedelic as Freedom Bondage often gets, Zeni Geva never let up with their ferocious metal, which aside from maybe Ratos De Porao has got to be the heaviest shit that Alternative Tentacles ever put out. An awesome fusion of Swans' trudging nihilism, math rock chops, cosmic prog, and blistering Slayerized thrash slowed down to a (mostly) crawling stomp. We only have a few of these LPs, and once they are gone they are gone for good.